Nissan New Mobility Concept Does Trial Runs In Japan (Video)

4 years ago by Jay Cole 13

Nissan is currently testing their New Mobility Concept on the street of Japan.  If the car looks familar to readers, it is because it is a very undisguised Renault Twizy.

Nissan New Mobility Concept Better Known As The Renault Twizy In Europe

Nissan New Mobility Concept Better Known As The Renault Twizy In Europe

Technically, the two seat EV is a quadricycle, and in this Nissan variation, gets about 60 miles of total range with a top speed of 50 mph, perfect for the congested city streets in Tokyo.

What is not perfect is the Nissan NMC  is still not incorporating the upper window option (now available on the Twizy) in the test fleet that is operating in Japan; a fact which is hard to not notice in Nissan’s promotional video featuring “7 moms” driving around Tokyo in the winter getting pelted with slushy snow.

The Nissan version of the best selling EV in Europe today (with over 9,000 sales in 2012) is expected to be made available to the mass population in Japan in 2015.

“This kind of vehicle is still very new in Japan, so I think it is important to take time to teach people how to use it safely,” said Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism official Akihiko Hosh.

The Renault Twizy starts at €6,990 ($9,200 USD) with a €50 ($65 USD) battery lease in Europe for the base 28 mph version that can be driven by teenagers as young as 14.  The Nissan NMC model shown here is the twin to the Twizy Urban 80, and starts at a retail price of  €7,690 ($10,100).

It should be noted that Renault-Nissan has hinted this vehicle may be offered in major city centers in the United States at some point…think New York. If made available the 220-lb, 6.1 kWh battery found inside the Nissan NMC would also qualify for a $3,334 federal tax credit, bringing the cost down to $6,766*, and down to $5,866* in the base model.

*-assumes straight pricing comparison

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13 responses to "Nissan New Mobility Concept Does Trial Runs In Japan (Video)"

  1. Mark H says:

    I see real possibilities for the Japanese market, but they have to add the window! The streets of Japan are extremely clean so I suppose they will wait on the window. If you offered that in the US, you might see duct tape in it’s future….

  2. shawn marshall says:

    The Twizy shows where the present battery technology yields a marketable car. Something like the Twizy could be the base for a real BEV market and if, and when batteries improve, it’s onward and upward from there.
    One must wonder why some folks get paid to make decisions such as the no windows thing and three years test market – seems to speak of a deliberate displacement for political purposes. Obviously they are not serious, just working to fashion a corporate halo. It’s called “hanging wallpaper”.

  3. Warren says:

    The Twizzy should sell much better than the Leaf in Japan. The Leaf is too big for Japanese roads. Rich yuppies drive vehicles that big on the big highways. Once you get off those, and attempt to drive around on regular roads, vehicles the size of the Leaf are ridiculous. Japan has real mass transit, and bicycles. Big private cars there are just a nuisance. Every square inch there is valuable. Rice fields grow right up to the Toyota factory buildings. Seeing Japan firsthand opens your eyes to just how foolish big private cars are.

  4. Jay Cole says:

    Having driven one myself, I really think a lot of EV fanatics would get one of these in the US just to have it. Not tens of thousands mind you, but I don’t think it would be a stretch for them to sell 5,000 a year. Even in the north, where it is wildly impractical, I would still add one into the family fleet. (would definitely spring for the upper window shields though)

    Article update: added in Euro-pricing on the Twizy (45 and 80 models), battery specs, and some math on theoretical US pricing.

  5. Warren says:

    Jay,

    Is Nissan thinking of bringing the NEV version here? That is the only one that would be legal currently. I think it would bomb, just like all the NEV’s before it.

    If the Obama administration really wanted to promote EV’s they should have given tax credits based on a range/Wh/mi formula, and created a class of road legal quadricycles. I don’t mean golf karts that can get to 55 mph with a tailwind. I mean high power, light, four wheel, enclosed/enclose-able, motorcycles, electronically limited to 55 mph. Imagine the 2013 Zero S drivetrain, in a 750 pound quadricycle. I think they would sell like mad. Even in this economy. Maybe especially in this economy.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey Warren,

      Last spring, Renault brought the Twizy to New York and strongly hinted to would be coming, but not as a Renault…now we have the Nissan NMC zipping around. Here is the quote from Renault at the time:

      “(the) Renault Twizy won’t go on sale in the US … but you just wait and see”

      To make a full speed/road legal (on any surface) standard vehicle in the US, you bring in all those safety pre-reqs and certifications, making the end product not a good value proposition compared to standard autos.

      If ‘Obama’ wanted to promote road legal quads (like this one amped up) what they don’t need is more credits (the current program is great for low cost options)…what they need is a easing on the safety restrictions and certification protocols.

      While realizing that just about every NEV has been a failure, but they have either a) tried to be a car or B) been too expense and c) not been from a real automaker with national infrastructure, but this one would probably have the best chance to succeed…especially with its current wishy-washy status with the DMV

  6. Warren says:

    Jay,

    Our motor vehicle laws are an incoherent mishmash. Currently, you have two options to travel the roads in the US…the four wheeled, energy sucking, padded, battering rams most people endure, or you can ride on two/three wheels with no protection whatsoever.

    Like me, you can ride an electric assist bicycle on any road, except for interstate highways, with speed limits up to 65 mph, and often with no paved shoulder. Or you can ride a motorcycle on any roads, including interstate highways, at speeds up to 75-80 mph.

    As a society, we are saying that you can either take out a huge loan for a fortress on wheels, or die, sucker.

    1. kdawg says:

      Add in the fact that states like mine, Michigan, are a no fault state, but I still have to pay for uninsured motorists insurance.

  7. Herm says:

    windows and a small AC/heat pump please (500w), I’m fine with 30mph speeds in a Car2Go type program.. with dedicated charging/parking stations on every block.. even better if the quadracycle can drive itself to you once you fire up the app in your phone, and then go away and park itself .

  8. shawn marshall says:

    Now I’m not one to argue with Statik, the Magnifico,☺but in a great urban city with a traffic and smog problem, Twizy streets could possibly provide two lanes where one now exists and street parking on a slight bias could increase parking density and revenues. The Car2Go and self driving and A/C are all good ideas. No smog, little noise, little zippy Twizies buzzing around, which great American city will be the first to enter the Twizy zone and usher in a real revolution in urban transportation?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Argue away Shawn, I’m onboard with your radical vision of the future. You just have to convince 313,999,998 other citizens in the US, (=

  9. Mike says:

    Wow – if Nissan was to bring this to North America, I could see it being popular. The lack of doors is not an issue – give it 2 weeks and an aftermarket company will have a solution.